Lockdowns, quarantines, work from home… and the end of travel as we know it.
The pandemic certainly changed the way we live forever, and it made jetting off to far-flung destinations near impossible for a while.
But things are changing.
Vaccines are rolling out all over the world, red lists are turning amber, and more and more countries are welcoming visitors. Globetrotters of every kind can once again enjoy the thrill of exploring new places.
However, that doesn’t mean that traveling in 2021 doesn’t come without its own unique set of ups and downs. Traveling is always a bit of a rollercoaster. But this time around the ride is even steeper and more susceptible to twists and turns.
If you want to travel safely in an (almost) post-pandemic landscape, you need to equip yourself with all the right tools and information.
Take a look at our updated guide to long-distance traveling in 2021. Then pack your bags so you can cross another destination off your bucket list!
Perform A Personal Financial Assessment
This is a step you’ll know well if you’ve traveled a lot in the past. Before you can even begin to start dreaming of drinking from coconuts in the warm sun, you’ll need to perform a thorough (and honest) personal financial assessment to define what’s realistically within your budget.
I know it can be a little nerve-wracking to make a solid breakdown of your financial situation. But there’s no way you can move forward until you know what resources you have access to. Covid-19 travel may also require some additional expenses, so prepare yourself for a pricey trip.
Select A Destination
Unfortunately, not all countries are open for travel yet, and your citizenship will play a large role in which locations you can visit. If you’re not yet fully caught up on the updated list of tourist-friendly travel destinations, do some research. It’s not hard to find out which countries are open to tourists from different continents.
Research Covid-19 Quarantine And Protocols For Your Destination
It’s important to note that pre and post-flight quarantine is still a standard procedure in most countries right now or testing on-site at arrival or arriving with a negative covid test. The pandemic is far from over, and most people are still vulnerable to infection.
Once you have decided on a potential travel destination, you’ll need to research what the quarantine procedures will be like when you land. Depending on the location, there may be other protocols or requirements you will need to know about before you are free to explore.
Acquire Pandemic-Proof Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is always a good idea, but amidst a pandemic, it will be even more beneficial. Even if you are fully vaccinated, you may want to protect yourself against potential Covid-19 related problems that arise.
Not all plans cover Covid-19 expenses. You’ll need to go through a list of pandemic-friendly travel insurance packages to find one that meets your requirements while bearing the virus in mind.
In addition to covering actual medical expenses, these plans have factored in Covid-19 related trip cancellation fees. This gives you the option to cancel with reimbursement for any verifiable reason.
Acquire The Necessary Documents And Vaccinations
Tedious as it may be, finding out which documents and additional vaccinations you may need before packing your bags is an essential part of any proper travel plan.
Most countries are not allowing foreign visitors without either a Covid-19 vaccination card or a negative PCR test. Some countries even require other shots, such as Yellow Fever or Cholera, before you’re considered a safe traveler.
However, in other countries, you may only need to have proof of being Covid-19 negative before being granted permission to travel. Make sure you know what’s required of you well before you book your flight!
Pro tip: Things and requirements change regularly so stay up to date!
Book Your Flight(S), Accommodation, And Major Ground Transport
Once you have all the right jabs, documents, and plans, you can finally get to the exciting part: booking your flights! This part of the plan will be much like normal, although you may need to revisit destination requirements.
When it comes to accommodation and ground transport, it’s likely these things will already be planned out as part of the first leg of your destination’s quarantine protocols. Many countries require mandatory off-flight quarantine at a local hotel or guesthouse, lasting for an average of two weeks.
However, you will need to do some research to find out whether your quarantine location is provided for you. Or if you will need to arrange the bookings yourself.
Follow Local And International News Channels For Your Destination
If there’s one that the pandemic has taught us, it’s that everything can change at the drop of a hat. While you may know all about your destination’s Covid-19 protocols today, they may change tomorrow – and you’ll constantly need to stay in the loop.
Find or subscribe to a news channel that focuses on pandemic and travel updates in relation to your destination. Make sure no big shifts in protocol escape your attention.
Pack Your Bags – And Don’t Forget The Hand Sanitizer!
Now that you’ve completed your research, booked your bucket list vacation, received your vaccinations, and have done everything within your power to stay informed about protocols… it’s time to pack!
Packing your suitcase for pandemic travel will be much like packing for regular travel. Although we recommend packing extra masks—make sure they are super comfortable and well-fitting—as well as copious amounts of hand sanitizer.
I’d also recommend this mask spray as well. If you haven’t heard of this yet, it’s a must to refresh your masks especially after a day of traveling and this one removes bacteria and viruses and prevents maskne.
Read more: 6 Tips To Prevent Maskne In 2020
Traveling In The “New Normal”
While painstaking research, planning, and booking are critical to the success of your trip, there is no way of knowing what the future will hold.
We have already witnessed dramatic ups and downs over the past two years, but the pandemic is far from over, and we must be prepared to adapt.
That said, it’s an immense privilege to travel long distances in this complicated time. So, do your best to relax, have fun, and enjoy your experience as much as you possibly can.